Route of the Conquistadores Cycling Holidays
Start: Antigua

Your Itinerary


Route of the Conquistadores Guided Cycling Holiday
Guided | 15 days | 14 nights | Please call us for latest prices.

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Tour Summary


A ride on the wild side of Guatemala

“This tour is ideal for those looking for a challenge, but for regular, competent off-road cyclists.”

· Singletrack descent of Volcan de Agua
· Holiday time at Casa del Mundo on beautiful Lake Atitlan
· Chilling out in the Spanish Colonial city of Antigua
· Our longest running Central American mountain bike holiday

14 nights hotel and lodges, 11 days biking, 550 kilometres / 340 miles, 60% off-road, 75% vehicle supported, Max altitude – 2700 metres. Join in Antigua. MEAL PLAN: All meals included

Tour Introduction


Having run our first, pioneering mountain biking holiday to this wild and intriguing country over a decade ago, this Guatemala cycling holiday has continued to evolve and to receive rave reviews.

Guatemala is a mountain bikers paradise. Our Guatemala biking holiday begins in Antigua, the beautiful former capital and once the Spanish centre of administration for the whole of Central America and Mexico.

Here, we start out with a singletrack ride high on the slopes of Volcan de Agua which overlooks the city. Over the next 3 days, a mix of dirt road biking and singletrack then takes us to Lake Atitlan, surely a contender for the most beautiful lake in the world, with its towering volcanoes, azure water and Mayan inhabitants. This is a full-on mountain bike holiday aimed at regular mountain bikers with a taste for the undiscovered. Working with one of the few ‘real mountain bikers’ in Guatemala, the first half of the holiday will cover a lot of singletrack that has thus far been biked only by the locals.

The second half of the trip will be more of a cycling journey, following dirt tracks into the remote region of the Cuchumatanes Mountains. Here, we embark on some real ‘backcountry’ biking beneath frosty 3600 metre peaks and have a rare glimpse into the local Indian life, as we visit some of the country’s finest fiestas and markets. Although we have operated this trip for several years, Guatemala’s infrastructure is changing rapidly and some of the dirt roads that we used to include have now been paved.

To ensure that this trip stays true to character, and to remain off-road as much as we can, we continually modify this trip and seek out new and challenging trails. We may even need to make minor changes during the course of a trip to keep it real. Overall, this is a spectacular and quite unique cycling trip. Guatemala is probably the wildest country in Central America – but also the friendliest.

Day-by-Day Cycling Holiday Itinerary


Day 1: Meet in Antigua.

Rendezvous at the group hotel in Antigua. A single group transfer from Guatemala City Airport is provided in the evening. Package services begin with the overnight accommodation.

Day 2: Day-ride on Agua Volcano.

We bike out to the village of Santa Maria de Jesus on the slopes of Volcan de Agua. A tough trail climb and singletrack descent provides a great introduction to Guatemalan mountain biking. Returning to our hotel in Antigua, the late afternoon is free for relaxing. In the evening we dine in one of Antigua’s great restaurants.

Ride distance 17 km (11 miles) with 650 metres of ascent and descent.

Day 3: Bike to Parramos.

Biking out from our hotel, we make a loop up onto the Cielo Grande Ridge, riding a mix of coffee planter’s trails and technical singletrack. Beyond the El Rejon Pass, we drop back down to the valley and have a final climb to our horse ranch accommodation in Parramos.

Ride distance 28 km (17.5 miles) with approximately 1250 metres of ascent and 1000 metres of descent.

Day 4: Bike to Tecpan.

On this second day of our traverse across to Lake Atitlan, we ride a mix of footpaths and dirt roads, with some singletack. We pass through the towns of San Andreas Itzapa and Zaragoza, as well as smaller farmsteads, en route to Tecpan, where we stay in a converted flour mill beside a river.

Ride distance 43.5 km (27 miles) with approximately 1000 metres of ascent and 650 metres of descent.

Day 5: To Lake Atitlan.

Today we have an epic cross-country ride, following an old Spanish Conquistador corridor between Antigua and Lake Atitlan. We cross between rivers and climb to the caldera’s edge overlooking the lake, then finish with a great singletrack descent. Overnight in the lively town of Panajachel.

Ride distance 41 km (25.5 miles) with 1135 metres of ascent and 1650 metres of descent.

Day 6: Singletrack day ride.

We transfer out in the support vehicle for about 45 minutes to a ridge high up and to the north of Lake Atitlan. Biking back down to the lake, we enjoy technical singletrack and sections of slickrock ridge riding. We then transfer by boat to the cliff-side hotel of Casa del Mundo.

Ride distance 23 km (14 miles) with approximately 650 metres of ascent and 1650 metres of descent.

Day 7: At the lake drive to Huehuetenango.

A free morning at the Casa del Mundo for swimming or kayaking or just relaxing. In the afternoon, we drive (4 hours) to the Cuchumatanes Mountains region and overnight in a hotel in Huehuetenango. Time to look around before dinner.

Day 8: To Todos Santos .

Riding out from Huehuetenango in the early morning, we make a long ascent to a high plateau, passing through small Indian villages and with great views of the Cuchumatanes. We meander across this high ground, then have a long, fast descent to Todos Santos and our guesthouse.

Ride distance 44 km (27 miles) with approximately 1800 metres of ascent and 1275 metres of descent.

Day 9: Cross country to Chancol.

A great cross-country ride today, as we negotiate a tough, rocky climb back up onto the plateau and then continue on sheep trails and dirt roads towards the main ridge of the Cuchumatanes. After a great technical descent to lunch, we finally reach our accommodation at a horse ranch near to Chancol.

Ride distance 42 km (26 miles) with approximately 1500 metres of ascent and 975 metres of descent.

Day 10: To Acul.

Our ride takes us in a big loop around to the north, on undulating singletrack trails. This is a real cross-country ride and one of the best of the holiday, as we continue to the Ixil Triangle. Beyond Palop, there’s more up and down, before we can settle in at our rustic, family run lodge accommodation in Acul.

Ride distance 57 km (36 miles) with approximately 1200 metres of ascent and 2500 metres

Day 11: To Uspantan.

We begin with a steady climb out of the Nebaj Valley on an old Spanish highway known as the ‘boqueron’. From the crest of the ridge, we have a fantastic downhill to Cunen. Suitably rested, there follows more climbing and a mix of local trails and jeep tracks, en route to our overnight accommodation in Uspantan.

Ride distance 58 km (37 miles) with 1800 metres of ascent and 1950 metres of descent.

Day 12: Bike to Coban.

Another challenging day, as we climb up into the hills above the Chixoy Valley, before making a monster descent to a bridge over the river. More climbing, on a dirt track through forest, takes us back to the highway, where we meet our support vehicle and transfer to Coban and our hotel.

Ride distance 61 km (38 miles) with 1600 metres of ascent and 2000 metres of descent.

Day 13: Bike to Semuc Champey.

We end our Guatemalan epic with a long ride on a mix of road and jeep track to reach the blue river pools at Semuc Champey. We spend the afternoon at this beautiful spot, before transferring to our overnight stay in a hotel in Languin.

Ride distance 69 km (43 miles) with 800 metres of ascent and 1600 metres of descent.

Day 14: Drive to Antigua.

We have an early start for the scenic drive back to Antigua, where we check in at our hotel. There is time for last minute shopping, before going out to celebrate the successful completion of a unique trip in one of Antigua’s many great restaurants.

Day 15: Depart Guatemala City

Package services end after breakfast with a single timed group transfer to Guatemala City Airport.

Map & Route Information

Is this holiday for you?

Guatemala is proving to be a mountain bike adventurer’s paradise and the first half of this trip follows established tracks used by local bikers – we think that these trails are as good as anywhere in the world.

After an introduction to Guatemalan singletrack on Volcan de Agua, we ride cross-country for 3 days to Lake Atitlan and then tackle a great ‘slickrock’ ride above Panajachel that drops us back down to the lake again. After transferring to the wild Cuchumatanes Mountains region, we ride quiet dirt roads and jungle trails that connect the local villages, with long climbs and downhill blasts.

Whilst the support vehicle cannot always follow the bikes, it is never far away. With 15,000 metres of ascent and descent, this is a holiday for regular, technically competent off-road mountain bikers with a good level of physical fitness.

It does have some technically demanding singletrack ascents and descents and sections where you will have to push or carry your bikes. Mountain biking in remote areas, you need to be confident in your ability.

Where is the starting point of the holiday?


View Larger Map

Tour Route Map

Tour Information

Holiday Information


What’s Included

• A locally based US bike guide
• Single Guatemala Airport transfer Day 1 and Day 15
• All land transport involved in the itinerary
• All accommodation as described
• All meals

What’s Not Included

• Travel insurance
• Visas (if required)
• Tips for drivers and other staff
• Guatemala City airport transfers (other than single timed group transfers)
• Departure taxes (if applicable)
• Miscellaneous expenses – drinks and souvenirs etc
• Bike Carriage on the flights – please check with your carrier for charges

Meal Plan

All meals included, from dinner on Day 1, to breakfast on Day 15.

Accommodation

During this trip the group will spend 3 nights in a comfortable and atmospheric tourist-class hotel in Antigua.

Accommodation for the remainder of the trip will be in a mixture of local hosterias, posadas and hostels.

These vary in standard from very basic (although best available in the area) through to excellent, such as the Casa del Mundo on the shores of Lake Atitlan where tourists are regularly catered for.

In the Cuchumatanes, where foreign visitors are almost unknown, the available accommodation is basic. Most accommodation is on a twin-sharing basis, although on occasion we may have up to four in a room or a communal room.

If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex.

Depending on availability, it may be possible to pre-book single rooms for the nights that you spend in Antigua.

For additional hotel prices and single supplement costs.

Is this holiday for you?

Guatemala is proving to be a mountain bike adventurer’s paradise and the first half of this trip follows established tracks used by local bikers – we think that these trails are as good as anywhere in the world.

After an introduction to Guatemalan singletrack on Volcan de Agua, we ride cross-country for 3 days to Lake Atitlan and then tackle a great ‘slickrock’ ride above Panajachel that drops us back down to the lake again. After transferring to the wild Cuchumatanes Mountains region, we ride quiet dirt roads and jungle trails that connect the local villages, with long climbs and downhill blasts.

Whilst the support vehicle cannot always follow the bikes, it is never far away. With 15,000 metres of ascent and descent, this is a holiday for regular, technically competent off-road mountain bikers with a good level of physical fitness. It does have some technically demanding singletrack ascents and descents and sections where you will have to push or carry your bikes. Mountain biking in remote areas, you need to be confident in your ability.

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Your Prices

Route of the Conquistadores (Guatemala), 15 days, 14 nights
Prices are per person and excludes bike hire.

Please call us on 0161 703 5819 for latest prices and availability.

For help and queries regarding this tour…
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Holiday Price: £Call
Single Supplement: On Request

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Call: 0800 731 1631

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